Saturday, July 30, 2011

His To Keep

It is in my loneliness, oh Lord,
That I am drawn nearer to Thee,
It is when my heart is breaking,
That you lead me to my knees
     ~
It is when my spirit is soaring
up above on eagles wings,
That I feel this love so deeply,
It can only be my Kings!
~

So Jesus, melt my heart like wax,
In you all consuming Fire,
I  have come to know the promise
That you've lifted me from the pit of mire
~
Blessed is your Name, oh God,
It is high and lifted up,
I come bowed down and praise
As you overflow my cup
~
I come to you my Jesus with complete abandon
All that I am and all that I have is yours to keep
You came to my side when I needed you most
And you have now found your little lost sheep

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunrise

 This morning I saw the most beautiful scene I have ever seen! I went down to the beach to watch the sun rise and the Lord just revealed Himself to me in so many ways! This video was taken on my ipod so it is not very good quality, and you can not see the dolphins, feel the sand in between your toes, the waves crashing on your legs nor can you see the dark red of the sun (literally!!), it just looks like a regular sun! But, it was truly beautiful and I am just so thankful to my Creator for portraying His beauty through His creation! Praise Yahweh! Much love in Christ, Hannah
  
video

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Christ's Etceteras

 This is extremely long - but it is well worth it! Please practice perseverance and prayerfully read through the entire thing! :)  This caused me to laugh, (I never realized C/T Studds great sense of humor before) to pray and I even  sobbed. I am praying that it will impact your life!
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In 1915, having established the Heart of Africa Mission, C.T. Studd wrote a little pamphlet entitled Christ’s Etceteras in an effort to galvanize Christians to recognize the urgency of taking Christ to all unevangelized parts of the globe. This call to arms is both a passionate rallying cry and a rebuke to those who do not share his urgency, and came from a man who sacrificed not only all his earthly goods to his Lord, but ultimately gave his own life that the good news might be spread to the lost. We are privileged to reprint it in its entirety.

The Coronation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Crown Christ Lord of all.” “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

“ Ye shall be My witnesses...unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”

“ Whatsoever is commanded by the God of Heaven, let it be done exactly.”

“ If ye love Me ye will keep My Commandments.”

“ Why call ye Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?” The command of Christ settles the question once for all for every Christian as to whether the whole world should be evangelized or not.

The prophecy of Christ that the Gospel should be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations similarly settles for ever the question as to the possibility of its accomplishment.

It is also evident that the whole world cannot be evangelized in this generation or even in this century by the present methods and existing forces, even allowing for proportionate progress for --

1. The already occupied lands are admittedly very insufficiently manned and not half occupied.

2. The great missionary societies have declared their inability to make the great advances urged upon them by the needs of the world through lack of men and funds, and in fact several of the very greatest have found it extremely difficult to keep out of debt, and have had to threaten retrenchment, and even withdrawal from some fields already in occupation.

3. There remaineth yet very much land to be possessed, and many peoples therein who have never even heard the Name of Jesus Christ. Consequently unless some NEW HEROIC EFFORT is made by God’s people entailing great sacrifices, great faith, and desperate courage, the evangelization of the whole world in this and several future generations is a patent impossibility.

Here therefore are 3 Undeniable Facts :

1. The evangelization of the whole world has not been accomplished.

2. It ought to be done.

3. It can be done.

WHEN?

The answer to this question is surely unmistakeable.

TO-DAY!

“If ye will hear My Voice. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”

Surely the time has come to make a definite attempt to fulfil Christ’s command.

The coming of The Saviour draweth nigh! The times of the Gentiles are manifestly drawing to a close! The World lies open to God’s people for the first time in all history! Christ’s Disciples are numbered not by thousands, but by the million: never before has the world held so many. God has so enriched His children that there is abundance of gold and silver at their disposal for the work. While so bountifully has God poured forth His gifts of knowledge upon Christendom that we have as our allies all the marvellous resources of present day science and civilization.

There can be No Excuse for further delay. We have talked loud and long enough about making Jesus King. Now, then, let us DO IT. We have dwelt long enough on the wrong side of Jordan. Let us now go across and go up to possess The Promised Land at once. Every place that the soles of your feet shall tread upon to you have I given it. We have lived too long in our ceiled houses while God’s House lieth waste.

GOD ASSURES US that HE will be with us -- always. He commands us to be strong, to fear not, and to quit us like men.

HE DECLARES that the silver and the gold are HIS. Are not His PEOPLE His also? Are they not ready to do whatsoever Our King Jesus commandeth? Shall He who feeds the birds of the air fail to provide for His own soldiers engaged in His Warfare? God forbid! Let us rise up and build at once. Let us Fight the Good Fight and stop our sentimental singing about doing it.

GOD SAYS: “Speak unto My people that they go forward.”

“Consider from this day will I bless you.”

“Be not afraid.”

“Remember The Lord which is great and terrible, and Fight.”

“As I live,” saith The Lord God,”Surely with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured forth, I will be King over you.”

“I will purge out from among you the rebels!”

“Ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight.”

“I will kindle a fire in you.”

“The flaming flame shall not be quenched.”

“All flesh shall see that I have kindled it -- it shall not be quenched.”

Our God shall fight for us!

The Battle is not ours, but God’s!

The Lord will execute His Word, finishing it and cutting it short! We are running the last lap of the Great Race, let us spurt and finish it. “He is strong that executeth His word.” But HOW can it be accomplished?

1. Not by might, nor power, nor wisdom, but “By MY SPIRIT saith the Lord of Hosts.” “By The Word of Truth.” “By the Power of God.”

2. By our definitely undertaking its accomplishment.

3. By making an immediate start to do so.

4. By making its accomplishment the foremost aim and ambition of our lives.

5. By supreme sacrifice on our part and by Faith. Jesus Christ sacrificed His All and Himself for our Salvation. We must sacrifice our lives and our all for the salvation of others. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” We must Go as He came! We must give as God gave! We must live and we must die as Christ lived and died. Giving our lives a ransom for many -- for all -- we must delight in running all risks for Christ’s sake, despising hardship, disease, danger, and death, nay rather, we must reckon them our best friends. In other words, we must gladly and grimly determine To CROWN CHRIST Lord of All at All Costs for in no other way can HE be crowned --

“Unless we Crown Him Lord of All,

He never will be crowned at all.” If the salt have lost its savour . . . it is good for nothing. Ye are the light of the world. Lighten it.

Believing that Further Delay would be sinful, some of God’s insignificants, nobodies in particular, conscious of our own impotence and ignorance, but trusting in our Omnipotent God to bring it to pass according to His Word, have decided on certain simple lines, according to the book of God, to make a definite attempt to render the evangelization of the whole world an accomplished fact. For this purpose we have banded ourselves together under the name of “CHRIST’S ETCETERAS,” and invite others of God’s people to join us in this glorious enterprise. Existing Missionary Societies and Missionaries we gladly recognise as GOD’S SOMEBODIES.

We are merely CHRIST’S Nobodies, otherwise CHRIST’S ETCETERAS. We rejoice in, and thank God for the good work being carried on in the already occupied lands by God’s Regular Forces. We seek to evangelize only such portions of the world as are at present unevangelized. We seek to attack and win to Christ only those parts of the devil’s empire which are beyond the extremest outposts of the regular army of God. JESUS CHRIST’S ETCETERAS

To crown Jesus Lord of all.

All these being men of war came with a perfect heart to make Jesus King over all the world.

One army of the Living God

To His command we bow.

Part of His host have crossed “the flood”;

This part shall cross it now.

Christ’s Etceteras recognize others as Regulars, and themselves as Nobodies, otherwise His Etceteras.

Christ’s Etceteras shall do His Etcetera’s work as hereafter explained.

Christ’s Etceteras are a Union Mission -- a Christian and therefore an International Brotherhood and Sisterhood; a Supplementary World-wide Evangelization Society. Its Motto:

“Whatsoever is commanded by the God of Heaven, let it be done exactly.” Its Object:

The speediest possible fulfilment of the command of Christ to evangelize the whole world by a definite attempt to evangelize the remaining unevangelized parts of the earth. Rom. 15:20, 21.

Making it our aim so to preach the Gospel not where Christ was already named, that we might not build on another man’s foundations, but as it is written: “They shall see to whom no tidings of Him came, and they who have not heard shall understand.” Its Prayer:

“Hallowed be Thy Name” (everywhere).

“Thy Kingdom come.”

“Thy Will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” Its Convictions:

I. That the evangelization of the world is capable of accomplishment in the near future, if Christ’s people are willing to devote themselves to this glorious achievement.

1. By giving even as God gave for their salvation. 2. By denying and sacrificing themselves even as Christ did for them. 3. By truly becoming His disciples according to the rules of discipleship laid down by Christ Himself: “If any man cometh unto Me and hateth not his own father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot he My disciple.” Whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” 4. By imitating the Christian heroes of old who overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and who loved not their lives unto the death.

II. That in no other way can the command of Christ be fulfilled by this or any other generation.

III. That failure to fulfil this command of Christ spells eternal disgrace to the Christianity and Manhood of this generation of Christians. “No man,” said Archbishop Temple,”has any right to be called a Christian at all unless he is working up to the hilt to promote, by all means at his disposal, the fulfilment of Christ’s Command to Evangelize the World.” Its Authority:

If some as of old should ask by what authority it does these things, its reply is fourfold:

1. The command of Christ, whence was it, from man or from God?

2. The Words of Our Redeemer: “if ye love Me, ye will keep MY commandments.”

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”

“Ye shall be My witnesses . . . unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”

“Why call ye Me Ă”Lord, Lord,’ and do not the things that I say?”

3. The Doctrine of the Apostles that “We MUST obey GOD rather than men.”

4. The Compulsion of the Holy Ghost. Its Attitude:

1. Towards Christians is that of the Apostle Paul: “Grace be to all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” It therefore takes no account of National or Denominational differences.

2. Towards other Societies: It wishes to express its exceeding gratitude to Almighty God for having raised up the missionary heroes of the past and the already existing Missionary Societies, and for the mighty works He has accomplished through them in the evangelization of the vast fields already occupied by them; and it prays God to prosper and use them more and more in their efforts for His cause; furthermore, it prays that He may, by His Holy Spirit, still further quicken their enthusiasm and devotion, and cause them to launch out further into the deep to dispel the dense darkness of the yet unevangelized world. It is the friend of every Missionary Society, and the enemy of none. Its Foundation is:

The Fatherhood of God.

The Brotherhood of Christ and such as belong to Christ.

The Companionship of the Holy Ghost.

God shall provide for us as He chooses. Christ shall save us as He will.

The Holy Ghost shall teach and guide us where He pleases. Its Membership:

Anyone, small or great, young or old, rich or poor, may become a member by signing the Doctrinal Basis, by declaring that from henceforth his or her MAIN PURPOSE IN LIFE shall be the Evangelization of the Whole World in the shortest possible time, and by applying to the Honorary Secretary for a card and badge of membership. The Duties of Membership:

To pray for the speedy fulfilment of cur Lord Jesus Christ’s last command, and for a mighty outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on all His people.

To enlist others in the same cause.

To further the cause at heart in every possible way -- by life and tongue and pen, etc.

To acquire as much knowledge as possible of the state of affairs in the field, of the parts of the world as yet remaining unevangelized, and to circulate such knowledge everywhere.

To unite in prayer and conference on behalf of this cause with two or three or more members or others from time to time as God may direct. Its Method:

Is to search and find out what parts of the world at present remain unevangelised, and then by faith in Christ, by prayer to God, by obedience to the Holy Ghost, by courage, determination, and by supreme sacrifice to accomplish their evangelisation with the utmost dispatch.

1. By heartily helping and loyally cooperating with other Christians, and with the existing Missionary Societies, and

2. By its own efforts to supplement their labours. The Heart of Africa being, as we believe, at present the greatest and neediest unevangelised part of the world is the object of its first operations. Other parts will be undertaken at once, as soon as God shall direct. Its Doctrinal Basis:

1. The full Deity of each Person of the Trinity.

2. The full inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.

3. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself the only Message to be proclaimed according to the Scriptures.

4. Obedience to Christ’s command to love one another even as He has loved us.

5. Trust in God only, and appeal to Him only for the supply of all our needs. Its Resources:

(1) Humility (2) Faith (3) Prayer (4) Obedience

l . A full realization of its own utter impotence.

2. A simple trust in God’s omnipotence, wisdom, word, faithfulness, and the promised direction of the Holy Ghost. “Not by might, nor by power (nor by wisdom), but by My Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts.”

3.”If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.”

4.”The Holy Ghost Whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” Its Government:

The Head, the Commander, the Director of this Mission is the Triune God.

“The Government shall be on His Shoulder.” “Call no man your father, for One is your Father even God.” “Call no man your master, for One is your Master, even Christ.” “Be ye not called Rabbi, for One is your Teacher (even the Holy Ghost) and all ye are brethren.” “The rulers of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, but so it shall not be among you, but whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant.”

A company of Christ’s disciples shall dispense such men and means as God from time to time shall place at their disposal, and as He Himself shall direct them after prayer and conference.

They shall appoint a chairman, a treasurer, and a secretary.

Such officers and members of committee shall not, by reason of their office, be considered responsible for the monetary support of the missionaries in the field. Their responsibility regarding such support is in no way greater than that attaching to every other disciple of Christ. Their responsibility is not that of Providers but of Administrators of the funds that God shall provide. Its Funds:

The funds for this work shall be sought from God only. Nobody else shall ever be asked for either a donation or a subscription. No collection for Etcetera Work shall be taken up at any meeting held or organized by this Brotherhood.

Such voluntary contributions as shall be sent for this work by God’s people shall be received by the committee with thanks to God and the Agents of His bounty, and used as God shall direct for the furtherance of His Work. The Accounts of the Etceteras shall be strictly kept, regularly audited, and published annually.

If we seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness we have the word of Christ that God will supply our needs. If we degenerate into seeking anything else, the sooner we cease to exist the better for ourselves, for the world, and for the cause of Christ. Its Evangelists:

On application, the committee shall arrange for the examination of would be Etcetera Evangelists. God and the committee require the following qualifications as a minimum:

An Etcetera Evangelist is one called of God to go forth to evangelise in some part of the unevangelized world at all costs and risks. He counts not his life as of any account dear unto himself. Difficulties, dangers, and death have no terror for him, but are rather his native element in which he flourishes and rejoices. He cares not to save his own life, but those of others, as His Master saved others but not Himself. He rather seeks to lose his life for Christ’s sake that Christ may find it for him.

He is A MAN of GOD and not a child of men.

He is not the salaried servant of the Etcetera Committee.

He is the Servant of Jesus Christ with Whom he has settled terms of agreement already. He knows no other Master. He looks to Christ only for payment of such agreed salary, and not to the Committee, although God may choose to supply his needs in whole or part through the Etcetera Committee.

He has not the ghost of a doubt about God supplying his need; he carries the Cheque-Book of God with him always, and has no fear of the cheques being dishonoured. Has he not declared his utter trust in the Scriptures as wholly from God and wholly true?

“My God shall supply every need of yours According to His Riches -- in Glory -- in Christ Jesus.”

“Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” God feedeth them. “He that spared not His Own Son, but delivered HIM up for us all, how shall He not with HIM also freely give us all things?” Christ has promised He will be with us always. If, therefore, death overtakes an Etcetera Evangelist on the battlefield, he knows such to be a special mark of Christ’s favour, who has thus honoured and promoted him sooner than he had any right to expect.

“To live is Christ; to die is gain.” As he looks to God to supply his needs, so also shall the Etcetera Evangelist look to God for his guidance, and shall obey HIM. To require a man to look to God for his support, but to a man for his guidance, is utterly contrary to morality, justice, and the whole teaching of God in the New Testament Scriptures.

“This is My Beloved Son: hear HIM.” “HE shall teach you ALL things. HE shall guide you into ALL the truth.”

If this is wrong, God’s Book is a lie; religion is vain. But God’s promises and commands are true, and intended to be trusted and obeyed.

Each Etcetera Evangelist shall report direct to the Committee, or to the Overseer if the Committee shall so desire. Overseers:

The Committee shall appoint an Overseer for each sphere of operations, who shall superintend the work, report to the Committee, and be its representative as required by the Government officials, to be responsible for the work and the workers. Its Request:

It earnestly desires the prayers of God’s people that, by the united and determined endeavours of all His servants, God may fulfil the command of His Beloved Son and shortly accomplish the number of His elect, and thus roll away the reproach of lack of sincerity, courage, and obedience so frequently, and not altogether unjustly, brought against the professed followers of our Lord Jesus Christ today. Our Resolve:

To know nothing else save Jesus Christ and HIM crucified, that we may by all means save some. I am willing not to be bound only, but to die for the Name of the Lord Jesus.

“ Love so amazing, so divine, demands our lives, our souls, our all.”

Now, once again, and for the last time. THIS WORK OUGHT TO BE DONE, AND IT CAN BE DONE, but only by God Himself working through men and women loving HIM supremely, utterly abandoned to HIM, trusting HIM wholly, enthusiastically and joyfully desiring to run all risks, to stop at no cost, to fight against all odds, to live and to die to crown HIM King. Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! It can only end with the destruction of Satan’s kingdom and the Coronation of Christ.

Who will enlist for Jesus Christ today, to fight to a finish, to crown HIM Lord of all the world?

Had they but the chance, every saint and angel would enlist at once! Where saints and angels desire, but are unable to tread, fools for Christ’s sake have liberty to rush in. Christ rejects not fools, nor weak, nor ciphers. Someone must begin. So here goes. “I will! Set down my name, Sir.”

“I come to do Thy Will, O my God. I enlist in Thine Army for this definite purpose. My one ambition in life shall henceforth be to seek by all the means and powers at my disposal to live, pray, work and die to bring about the evangelization of every unevangelized part of the world, and every creature therein, and so crown Christ Lord of all. I admit to being the biggest fool on earth. All the better, for no other can henceforth fear being too small, too weak, or too foolish for the job.”

God loves to use such, that all the glory may be Christ’s. Consecrate yourself this day unto the Lord for this cause.

Dare you refuse?

You must ere long meet your Lord and Saviour face to face! How will you do so if, when you had the chance, you refused to fight for His Coronation?

You dislike the lines on which we propose to work? Then you dislike the Leadership of God, and the express teachings of the Holy Ghost in the Book of God. You prefer man to God, and Reason to Faith.

There is no middle course. You must be on one side or the other for Christ or against HIM. “He that is not with ME is against ME.” Wouldst thou be lukewarm? Neither hot nor cold? Christ says He will spue such out of His mouth.

“He that loveth his life shall lose it.”

“He that loseth his life for My Sake and the Gospel’s shall save it. Whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath he cannot be MY disciple.” Don’t seek a long life -- Christ had a short one. Don’t live in luxury -- Christ lived and died poor. Don’t live in pleasure -- Christ pleased not Himself. Don’t live for fame -- Christ made Himself of no reputation. Don’t live at ease -- Christ suffered for you the shame, the scourge, and the cross. Don’t lose your opportunity and inherit an eternity of shame and regrets hereafter.

Think not I stoop to court you. I don’t. My decision is final. The fewer who join the better for me, entailing the greater honour.

So far as I am concerned, I care not whether few or many, or any enlist, except that I want the Coronation of Christ as soon as possible. And we shall win anyhow. God will see to that.

Should not one join to Crown Jesus Lord of All? I have done my best. I have called; and you refused. For me there can be no regrets.

Heaven can be but the sweeter for having had the honour of standing alone for this cause of Christ.

But for you? What will your heaven be when you stand face to face with The Saviour who died for you, and for whose Coronation you refused to fight?

All these being men and women of war came with a perfect heart

To make Jesus King over all the World.

Will you be one?

It is for you to decide.

Man! Be a Man! Play the Man! Shame the devil, and Crown Christ Lord of All.

His Crowning day is coming Mighty Soon.

Hallelujah!
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What will you choose, my dear friend? I have joyfully chosen to take on the duty and the honor of being one of Christ's Etceteras - Mr. Studd, you are not alone, count me in on this privilege!!! I am praying for those of you who have read this, and that you will choose what is right! It could be that you and me - possibly "the biggest fools on earth" could give our weak bodies over to our Mighty Lord Jesus Christ and receive the badge of honor for suffering, and even dying for His sake! You in?
Hallelujah, PRAISE JESUS!

Much love in Christ,

an etcetera in the making

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Praying Till' We Pray

My older sister, Rachel, read this to me last November and I was so deeply blessed and inspired by it. I came across it today and I was once again encouraged by reading it! I pray that you are all blessed! -H :)
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Dr. Moody Stuart, a great praying man of a past generation, once drew up a set of rules to guide him in his prayers. Among these rules is this one: "Pray till you pray." The difference between praying till you quit and praying till you pray is illustrated by the American evangelist John Wesley Lee. He often likened a eason of prayer to a church service, and insisted that many of us close the meeting before the service is over. He confessed that once he arose too soon from a prayer session and started down the street to take care of some pressing business. He had only gone a short distance when an inner voice reproached him. "Son," the voice seemed to say, "did you not pronounce the benediction before the meeting was ended?" He understood, and at once hurried back to the place of prayer where he tarried till the burden lifted and the blessing came down.

The habit of breaking off our prayers before we have truly prayed is as common as it is unfortunate. Often the last ten minutes may mean more to us than the first half hour, because we must spend a long time getting into the proper mood to pray effectively. We may need to struggle with our thoughts to draw them in from where they have been scattered through the multitude of distractions that result from the task of living in a disordered world.

Here, as elsewhere in spiritual matters, we must be sure to distinguish the ideal from the real. Ideally we should be living moment-by-moment in a state of such perfect union with God that no special preparation is necessary. But actually there are few who can honestly say that this is their experience. Candor will compel most of us to admit that we often experience a struggle before we can escape from the emotional alienation and sense of unreality that sometimes settle over us as a sort of prevailing mood.

Whatever a dreamy idealism may say, we are forced to deal with things down on the level of practical reality. If when we come to prayer our hearts feel dull and unspiritual, we should not try to argue ourselves out of it. Rather, we should admit it frankly and pray our way
 through. Some Christians smile at the thought of "praying through," but something of the same idea is found in the writings of practically every great praying saint from Daniel to the present day. We cannot afford to stop praying till we have actually prayed.


By Andrew Murray

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Precious Love Of Jesus

It has always been in my most troubled moments on Earth that I have felt the love of Christ the deepest. It is when others see the troubles that I daily encounter that I am filled with the most joy - The joy of  my Jesus! It is when it seems like I should be the loneliest when I am drawn nearer and closer to the Holy One.  
Jesus, thank you for Your precious love. It is when I look at Your face, when the pleasures of this world grow strangely dim. Only when my arms are wrapped tightly around you, am I am truly lost in Your love. When I care about nothing else, I hear Your voice as clear as water, and it is only when I am entangled in Your holiness, I come to know the precious joys of knowing and serving You. Oh how I love you, my Beloved. 
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Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He came to pay our ransom
Through the saving cross He bore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Those He died to make His own
How for them He’s interceding
Pleading now before the throne

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
In the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where Your love will never end
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May you, my dear friends, come to know the never-ending, ever-lasting joys of knowing Jesus! I want to encourage you all to "Come near to Him and He will come near to you!!" Keep trusting in Christ, His love Never fails. I love you all dearly! For the King and His glory!

Hannah Brooke Hartman

Monday, July 18, 2011

Joyfully His- Even Amidst Great Difficulty!

Lately, Christ has revealed to me the blessing and the joy of trials, tribulations, afflictions and troubles: sent by God and serving to test or prove our faith, character, and holiness in Christ Jesus.

It is very easy to sit back and live a lazy "Christian" life. We are Christians when it comes to "accepting Christ as our Saviour and Lord", but when it comes to enduring through tribulations, and suffering for His name sake, we shudder at even the thought of it. Why is it so?

We so often forget that the bible promises that the testing of our faith produces: Patience, endurance, steadfastness, glory to Christ, praise to Christ, honor to Christ, salvation of souls, a display of God's faithfulness, a refinement as unto silver and gold, a knowing of the heart, rich fulfillment, identification with God, an offering of righteousness, peace with God, wisdom, perseverance/character/experience/hope, access to grace, a crown of life and the Holy Spirit!! That my friends, is a very long list, full of extremely wonderful things. But we MUST endure the trials that the Lord has given unto us as soldiers of Jesus!!
(You therefore must endure hardship, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:3)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness...that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:3
 Have you ever shined a glow stick in the daytime? You can hardly tell that any light is coming from it. The same is with us - we are just earthen vessels, full of God's radiant light. But His Light can not be seen nor shined if we are in a bright world with no darkness to be exposed. No, He uses us to shine His light in this dark world. We often forget that there will be very dark times in our lives, that we will be lead through the valley of the shadow of death... we will - tt is a part of being in a sinful world. But, my sweet friends, rejoice in the Lord when you go through trials or dark times, for it is then that the Lord's light can truly shine! Praise Him evermore, for His loving kindness is everlasting!
Thank God for the tough spots He put you in. That is where He is getting His love through you to the unlovely, and to people who harm you. That is how Jesus lived on earth, expressing the love of God to those who criticized and hated Him; and that is how Jesus now lives in us, expressing the same love through us. He has put us among difficult people, so that His supernatural love may be seen by them. So praise the Lord for every tough spot you are in. It is not God’s will to deliver us from tough spots, but in them. There is no other way of getting at those who do not know Him except by living among them. Norman Grubb- Knight of Faith, Volume I 
We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; (Suffering that puts strength, patience of faith to the test; afflictions or temptations that exercise and prove the graces or virtues of men.) and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:13

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When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed
(Sovereign Grace Music)
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Dear ones, know that you can not endure this trial on your own nor can you count it as pure joy. It is impossible on your own strength. But Jesus can and He already has! He will live a joyful life in and through you!! If you are having great difficulty applying this to your life, then all I can say is - Look to Jesus! Pray and Praise! And, dear, HE is being greatly glorified while you praise Him, even when it is difficult to praise. For the King and His glory alone I write! I love you all dearly!

Joyfully His in ALL circumstances,

Hannah Brooke Hartman

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Incomparable Sufferings - The Anguish of Jesus Christ

Today while biking in New Jersey, I went into a shop that had a "Christian lending bookshelf" and I picked up a book called Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper. I pick it up and flipped it open to about the middle page. I began reading and was so blessed by what it said. I weeped sorrowfully, yet I rejoiced in the precious love of my Lord. Here is some of what I read. Be blessed!
When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten. 1 Peter 2:23 
 It was the will of the LORD to crush him he has put him to grief. Isaiah 53:10 
The agonies of God's Son were incomparable. No one ever suffered like this man. Through all eternity, we will contemplate the killing of the Son of God and sing, "Worthy is the Lam who was slain" (Revelation 5:12).      ... So come and worship with me at the splendor of Christ's sufferings. 
      No one ever deserved suffering less, yet received so much. The stamp of God on this perfect life is found in two words: "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). The only person in history who did not deserve to suffer, suffered most. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth" (1 Peter 2:22). None of Jesus' pain was a penalty for His sin. He had no sin. 
       Therefore, no one has ever had a greater right to retaliate, but used it less. He had at His disposal infinite power to take revenge at any moment in His agony. "Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 16:53) But He did not do it. When every judicial sentiment in the universe cried out "Unjust!" Jesus was silent. "He gave [Pilate] no answer, not even unto a single charge" (Matthew 27"14). Nor did He refute false ridicule: "When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten" (1 Peter 2:23). Nor did He defend Himself in response to Herod's interrogation: "He made no answer" (Luke 23:9). No one has ever borne so much injustice with so little vengeance. 
      This was not because the torment was tolerable. If we had been forced to watch, we probably would have passed out. In the garden, "His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground" (Luke 22:44). In the middle of the night, before the high priest, "they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him.(Matthew 26:67). Before the governor the "scourged" him (Matthew 27:26). Eusebius (about A.D. 300) described the Roman scourging of Christians like this: "At one time they were torn by scourges down to the deep-seated veins and arteries, so that the hidden contents of the recesses of their bodies, their entrails and organs, were exposed to sight."
     In agony the soldiers toyed with him. They dressed him in mock robes of royalty. They began to "cover his face and to strike him, saying to him 'Prophesy!' And the guards received him with blows" (Mark 14:65). A crown of thorns was pressed down on his head - made worse by being driven into his skull with blows. "They were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him" (Mark 15:19). In this condition he was unable to carry his own cross (Matthew 27:32)
      The torture and shame continued. He was stripped. His hands and feet were nailed to the cross. (Acts 2:23; Psalm 22:16). The mockery was unrelenting through the terrible morning. "Hail the King of the Jews!" "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross" (Matthew 27:29, 40). Even one of the criminals "railed at him" (Luke 23:39).
     It was a hideous death. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia tells us, "The wounds swelled about the rough nails, and the torn and lacerated tendons and nerves cause excruciating agony. The arteries of the head and stomach were surcharged with blood and a terrific throbbing headache ensured.... The victim of crucification literally died a thousand deaths.... The suffering was so frightful that 'even among the raging passions of war pity was sometimes excited.'"
     All of this came upon the "friend of sinners," not with brothers at his side, but utterly abandoned. Judas had betrayed him with a kiss (Luke 22:48). Peter had denied him three times (Matthew 26:75). And in the darkest hour of the history of the world, God the Father struck His own Son with our punishment. "We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4). The only person in the world who truly knew God (Matthew 11:27) cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)
      ...The suffering and weakness of Jesus were a work of His sovereign power. "No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord" (John 10:18). He freely chose to join the Father's design for his own suffering and death.
     And the goal of it all? "Great love has no man than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Yes, but to what end? What does love pursue? Two which are really one purpose. First "Christ... suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). The suffering of Jesus brought us to God who is fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore. Second, in the very hour of death the Father and the Son were glorified. "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him: (John 13:31). Our joy in savoring God and his glory in saving us are one. That is the glory of Christ's incomparable sufferings."
 -John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ
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Please, my beloved, come join me in Gethsemane?
Will you bear this heavy burden with me, 
Feel all sin upon your small shoulders 
And watch all powers of hell flee! 
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin." 1 Peter 4:1 (NLV)
Is the Lamb that was slain not worthy to receive the reward of His sufferings? Are you willing to lay down your life for the One that so freely gave His life for you? Remember always that He is most definitely worthy!
Much love in Christ,
Hannah Brooke Hartman

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Come, Hide Away in The Love of Jesus

  For the past week I have been writing a blog about the blessing of trials and tribulations, and how me must endure them as good soldiers of Jesus Christ - still to be posted - but today when I was finishing it up, I felt a sudden urge to write a poem about the precious love of our sweet Jesus! I pray that you are encouraged and uplifted with your walk in Christ!
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Come, all who are weary and weak, hide away in the love of our Lord
If you cling to His wonderful cross, a crown of jewels will be your reward
 Jesus left all ninety-nine to run after one, He has now found you,
 it has been done, so wander no more dear friend, you need only to come
Come to Jesus, lay your burdens at His feet,
His faithfulness, and His loving kindness, you will love to seek
Though all may seem hopeless, do not begin to fret,
as you draw near, He will quickly forgive your debts 
Come into His precious presence, oh what a wonderful start,
All of your worries will fade once you gaze into His heart 
Hide away in His shadow, as He draws you near,
He will quench your thirst as He has the wandering deer 
Hold fast to the precious promises of our dear Lord,
and cling to the heavenly armour- the helmet, the shield, the sword 
Do not worry about what is to come, as all the time flies by,
but, sing a joyful song in praise as Christ is throned on  high.
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"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." 2 Corinthians 1:4
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Remember always to keep your gaze upon the splendor of our King. Do not look to the left nor the right, at the wind or the waves. Peter walked on water when His eyes were fixed upon Jesus! Impossibilities are made into possibilities when you are yielded to His perfect and holy will. I love you all dearly!!

Joyfully His, 

Hannah Brooke Hartman

Taken on the Ocean City beach!